“Technology development never ends!” was the catch-all title for the nearly eight-hour flagship semi-live surgical session at EAU21, and it was certainly technological developments that made the international meeting a reality in 2021. Profs. Gözen (DE) and Walz (FR) chaired the day’s sessions from the EAU21 studio in Hilversum (NL) while moderators and speakers joined remotely from their hometowns.
The session, or more accurately, the Meeting of the EAU Sections of Uro-Technology (ESUT), Robotic Urology (ERUS) and Urolithiasis (EULIS) was designed to take up most of the day on the first day of EAU21, lasting from 10:15 to 19:00 with an hour-long break at noon.
The meeting began with Prof. Breda (ES) giving a follow-up on the live cases from EAU19 in Barcelona, as mandated by the EAU’s Live Surgery Policy. That same policy was recently evaluated by Prof. Bashkar Somani (GB) in his article ‘Outcomes of EAU-endorsed Live Surgical Events over a 5-year Period (2015–2020) and Updated Guidelines from the EAU Live Surgery Committee’ and he was on hand to present his and his co-authors’ findings.
Somani concluded that the EAU’s 246 procedures spread over 18 events were safe and followed previous guidelines set by the panel. He advised that “the fine balance between patient safety and educational value might be best achieved if procedures are performed by local surgeons in their parent hospital with patients and staff they know.” Prof. Somani also pointed to “synchronized deferred live surgery” as a new form of surgical demonstration that might offer the best of both world: live interaction and discussion without affecting the procedure for the patient.
New robotic solutions
The first of five blocks of presentations covered a wide range of innovations in urological technology, including flexible ureteroscopy with thulium fibre laser, several new kinds of laser technology (including a demonstration of mini-PCNL with MOSES 2.0) and the demonstration of a new kind of ureteral stent, the JFil, by Dr. Andrea Bosio (IT). The JFil led to a lot of questions from the audience, who were clearly interested in the potential of the innovative “pigtail” stent and its potential for reducing stent-related symptoms.
A real scoop in this first series of talks was the participation of Dr. Ruben Olivares (CL) who was the first to use the Medtronic Hugo RAS system to perform a prostatectomy on June 19th at the Clinica Santa Maria in Chile. Dr. Olivares highlighted the system’s modular nature, its flexible upgradeability, the advantages of its open console and the support for standard surgical tools.
This historic first procedure would mark the start of a registry and data collection on the performance of the system. Dr. Olivares’s unique hands-on experience naturally piqued the interest of the moderators, and some audience comments also praised the entry of new systems into the field of robotic surgery.
- Considering the huge number of surgical procedures on display during this session, Congress delegates may wish to use the Congress Platform’s “On Demand” feature in the coming days to catch up on presentations that pique their interest!